Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Zip A Bag

Finally. Yes.

Do you remember my Make A Bag series

I'm thinking of this as the sequel. 

Where Make A Bag was kindergarten, and Zip A Bag is middle school, and elementary school was you designing your own bag patterns for the first time. 

And high school is when you are employed by Coach or somecompany that designs with serious leather and has all the fantastic industrial machines that do perfect topstitching. 

And nobody is really ever at Bag College or Bag Grad School because those lessons haven't been invented yet; we're still pushing the boundaries of Bagdom.

Anyway, come join us! Everyone is welcome.

I'll be starting with the very basics of zipperhood, so that everyone  - from the uninitiated-and-tremulous to the experienced-and-apathetic - is at the starting line at the same time. But only in the context of bagmaking. So no invisible zippers and other garment-closure stuff, okay? 

Next, we'll move on to zipper manipulation (translation: "taking the pliers and side cutters to zippers"), which includes preparing zippers for installation in common and fancy ways, as well as the installation itself.

Then - and this is the crux of the series - we're going to be making some really fun bags, pouches and organizers,

in which zippers do acrobatics,

and other fun things beyond just opening and closing.

The print fabric in these bags are Jessica Jones' Time Warp collection in barkcloth. Cloud9 generously sent me these prints last year to work with, and have been beyond patient with how long it's taken to get this series off the ground (I hope the wait has been worth it!)

So long, in fact, that Time Warp is practically sold out in most stores. 


Check out Jessica's new barkcloth line In Theory by Cloud9, coming early 2016, which is every bit as gorgeous!

Are you coveting? I'm totally coveting. 

But back to Zip A Bag. Here's a rough rundown (not finalized - I'll tweak the titles and sequence and add links as we go along):

Chapter 1: The Beginning - Terminology and Preparation 
Chapter 2: Unfaced zippers - flat pouch
Chapter 3: Faced front zippers - flat pouch I
Chapter 4: Faced side zippers - flat pouch II
Chapter 5: Faced front zippers - darted pouch
Chapter 6: Faced zippers and pocket - boxed pouch
Chapter 7: Single-side zippers - tool case
Chapter 8: Recessed zippers: cross-body bag
Chapter 9: Zipper-as-gusset - compartment/cosmetic case
Chapter 10: Offset gusset zipper - Teardrop Purse
Chapter 11: Gusset Zipper - backpacks
Chapter 12: In-seam zippers - cylindrical pencil cases
Chapter 13: Changing the Shape - the Drum Bag
Chapter 14: Changing the Volume I - Expandable Tote
Chapter 15: Changing the Volume II - the Single-Edge Marker Pouch and Double-Edge Lunch Bag
Chapter 16: Changing the Volume III - the Pleated Backpack
Chapter 17: Zippered Straps I - the Diamond Backpack
Chapter 18: Zippered Straps II - the Volcano Bag

Hope you're as excited as I am. I've been so impatient to share this because nothing gets my sewing adrenaline flowing like bag-making. It's just so utterly different from toymaking and tailoring. The former is all glee and mania and "Ooh, let's add all kinds of fun lurid details so the kids can pretend-play!"  The latter is all adult and anal and contouring and serious and proper. 

Bag-making, by contrast, is like chocolate - sweet and smooth and full of endorphins.

See you soon!

And thank you, Cloud9 and Jessica Jones, for the Time Warp fabric prints! 


  1. The moment we've been waiting for, yippee! Can't wait to see more and learn all your tricks!

  2. This series is going to be incredible!

  3. yay!! I'm super excited, thanks for doing this :)

  4. *Does a happy dance*

  5. Yes! Finally! Super! Can' wait... Thanks!

  6. It sounds great!I'll be following this one closely!

  7. I wish that you would publish this in a nice little book!:)

    1. Me too! These all look amazing.

    2. Maravilloso..... espero con ansiedad.... mil gracias por enseñarnos.

  8. First time commenting on your blog (I think!) but wanted to wish you congratulations on finally getting to this point. It's a momentous occasion! I'm looking forward to the series.

  9. Am super excited. Been following your blog awaiting this magic moment. Thank you!

  10. WOW! I came here to check out the On the Go Blog Tour and found this. Christmas Magic, for sure. I'm happily signing up for your blog :)

  11. I consider myself a zipper beginner. I can't wait to learn something from this series! I can tell you put so much work into those bags. They look great.

  12. Your bags are great.
    Can't wait
    When do we start?

  13. You are the best sewing teacher I know!

  14. Really looking forward to all these and learning a whole lotta zippiness!

  15. If there was an "I'm not worthy" emoticon, I'd be adding a few of those here!! I'm a huge fan and cannot wait to read this series. :) Anytime you need a guinea pig, let me know! Cindy

  16. I am TOTALLY coveting! This is so exciting, i've got all the others you've done previously and i'll save all these as well!! You do the BEST tutorials...thank you for all your hard work presenting them to us and as Diane in the post before me said We're Not Worthy!! lol
    Happy Holidays! Regina

  17. Love all those bags, can't wait to start!

  18. I seriously want to make that lunch bag.
    You are awesome.

  19. I squealed! So very happy, thank you!

  20. I am ready! I have supplies! I know I could figure this out for myself, but sensei, you are so much more...moreness.
    LEAD ON!

  21. Count me in! Can't wait to get started.

  22. oooohhhh YESSSS! I am ready!!!! I can't wait especially for lesson 15.

  23. Fantastic! Ohhing and ahhing at every picture.

  24. Yes! Bit late to the party due to circumstances, but still in time =) This pile of incredible zipper info is gonna join my binders with your drafting and pockets and bags info. Love you for it all, you have my eternal gratitude!

  25. I can't decide if you briliant, or just plain mad. I'm guessing a bit of both. Either way this looks amazing, and I am really looking forward to it!

  26. Oh, I'm so very excited! I loved your bag making series and have used it to make a couple of bags. I'm so excited to try zippers!

  27. SO exciting!!! I do love those prints - the ones you used AND the new collection!

  28. These are gorgeous. Love the choice of fabrics. Will have to find who sells bark cloth here.

  29. I'm not one who usually comments on blogs, but I have to say thank you for your Make a Bag (and now this Zip a Bag) series. Previously sewing was always a make it work kind of thing. I was self/blog taught. However your two series have been like a light bulb coming on. Suddenly someone was able to explain construction and sewing techniques in a comprehensive way.
    I only wish your Zip a Bag series had come out before Christmas. I had made a bunch of overnight/duffle bags for my nieces and nephews and I had some very choice words during its construction. Reading your tutorials, explaining fabric zipper stops and how to attach lining I was both very excited and had wished I had known it before hand.
    Since reading your tutorials I've been able to look at bags, wallets and purses and understand how they are constructed. I've been able to construct my own purses and wallets by looking at features I like from different ones. Just today I finished a detailed wallet/clutch. I was showing my mum and she complemented me, saying I was "talented." All I could say was that it's not me, and that honestly its really simple once you read the series on!
    To sum: Thank you.

    1. mousker: that's wonderful to hear (read)! I am so glad that my tutorials have helped you construct your own with custom features!


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